For the most part, host country nationals are emergency of considered as a target for intercultural training and, in general, the paradigm for cross-cultural training is still that it is only the expatriate’s characteristics that affect the adjustment process. However, there seems to be more recognition these days for the role of host country nationals in cross-cultural training of expatriates. Host country nationals can be considered as experts with inside cultural knowledge and proper preparation of host country nationals can therefore ease the transition for the expatriate. Involvement of host country nationals in the design of cross cultural training programs is, therefore, essential. This seems clear and logical; However, the crux of the problem the trainability relates to (and / or suitability) of expatriates to undertake overseas assignments. Certain traits and attitudes are Predictor of problematic assignments. Expatriate selection procedures could identify traits in expatriates that are bound to cause some child of problem in later years.
In particular, ethnocentric attitudes of expatriates have been found to be dysfunctional of mutual relationships between expatriates and host country workforce. Caligiuri et al. (2001) suggested that stereotyping may lead to over generalizations about host country nationals (and have negative effects). For instance, individual traits may be inappropriately assessed because of stereotyping and this obviously has consequences for cross-cultural interaction. Hence Caligiuri et al.
(2001) suggested that the development of realistic expectations prior to global assignments is highly important and what likely to be facilitated by appropriate cross-cultural training. They recommended tailoring cross-cultural training programs explicitly to the individual expatriate’s situation in order to provide the maximum relevance. In summary; cross-cultural training programs may ad value to expatriate assignments when proper expatriate selection procedures are in place and training addresses the prime cause of expatriate failure; maladjustment. Host country nationals play a potential role in cross-cultural training programs in a variety of roles. Their expertise may be utilized in identifying specific work-interaction demands performance expatriate in order to optimize. Dr. Ben van den Anker MBA Dr. B.J.L. van den Anker received his PhD in business and management from the International Graduate School of business of the University of South Australia. Dr. van den Anker hails from the Netherlands and has extensive experience living and working in SE Asia. His (I) HRM and cross cultural consultancy assignments focus primarily on western-Asian contexts. He can be contacted. References: Bhaskar RealWorld, P, Shaffer, m.a. and Luk, D.M. (2005). Input-based and time-based models of international Eagle: meta-analytic evidence and theoretical extensions. Academy of management journal, 48(2), 257 – 281. Caligiuri, pm, Philips, j, Lazarova, M., Tarique, I., and Burgi, p. (2001). The theory of met expectations applied to expatriate adjustment: the role of cross-cultural training. International Journal of human resource management, 12(3), 357-72 Kupka, B. and Kennan, W.R. (2003). Towards a theory based approach for intercultural communication training. Intercultural communication studies, XII-2. Pires, G. Stanton, j. and East field, S. (2006). Improving expatriate adjustment and effectiveness in ethnically diverse countries: marketing insights. Cross cultural management: International Journal, 13(2), 156-170 Waxin, M.F. and Panaccio, A. (2005). Cross-cultural training to facilitate expatriate adjustment: it works! Personnel review 34(1), 51 – 67. Zakaria, N. (2000). The effects of cross-cultural training on the acculturation process of the global workforce. International Journal of manpower, 21(6), 492-510.